Modern Warfare 3 Best Weapons
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Best weapons in MW3 ranked

What are the best weapons in MW3?

MW3 offers an almost overwhelming number of weapons, from Shotguns to Sniper Rifles. Naturally, these guns aren’t created equally, and there’s an ever-shifting meta of weapons vying for a spot at the top. If you’re looking for a firearm worth your time, let me show you the best weapons in MW3 ranked.

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Related: Best Quickscoping Loadout for MW3

Top 10 best guns in MW3

Sledgehammer Games have set an exciting precedent with MW3 and have shown they aren’t afraid to shake up the meta with balance patches. At the time of writing, these are the best weapons in the game, but with how quickly players go down, I urge you to use your favorites.

#10 Longbow

Best weapons in MW3 ranked
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Sniper Rifles are in an odd spot in MW3, dominating a couple of maps and falling apart on the rest. While the KV Inhibitor is more of a traditional Sniper Rifle, the Longbow can be built for quick scoping and has a respectable ADS speed for the class.

The Longbow blurs the lines between Sniper Rifle and Marksman Rifle, boasting a 30-round magazine by default and a decent rate of fire. I’d rank the Longbow higher if it had better range, as many long-range engagements require follow-up shots. This rifle is powerful in MW3 but requires a skilled hand, hence the rating.

#9 AMR-9

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I may rate this SMG a little high, or SBMM was kind during my time with the weapon, but the AMR-9 slaps.

This dangerous SMG has wild recoil but is incredible on maps with tight corridors like Skidrow and Favela. Like the Rival-9, the AMR-9 can access large magazines, including a 100-round option! It’s wholly unnecessary, but it’s a ridiculous attachment, and I’m all here for it.

While you’ll lose out to Assault Rifles in many cases, the AMR-9 is a decent SMG in the right situation.

#8 Rival-9

Best weapons in MW3 ranked
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Assault Rifles are the dominating force in MW3, but you can still have fun with SMGs and so well with a mobile playstyle. The Rival-9 kicks like a mule but has a savage rate of fire, which can cut foes to ribbons.

This beastly SMG can be fitted with a 50-round magazine, and with so many bullets, it doesn’t matter if you miss a few shots. The Rival-9 is a solid SMG that doesn’t force you too heavily into a fast-paced playstyle.

As you’d expect, the Rival-9 is great at near range, but if you’ve got that close to your opponent already, you may have better luck with the next weapon on this list.

#7 WSP Swarm

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The WSP Swarm is a formidable SMG but locks you into a playstyle not everyone can pull off. This plucky SMG is terrifying in close-range engagements, able to erase health bars in a split second.

The WSP Swarm has everything you could want in a close-range weapon. A crazy rate of fire and a ludicrous TTK (time to kill). The downside is the weapon’s poor range, which forces a hyper-aggressive playstyle.

Another issue is MW3’s map pool. Sure, there are a few maps with claustrophobic areas, like the middle of Skidrow, but the WSP Swarm struggles on larger maps. The WSP Swarm is a phenomenal weapon if you can close the distance, but good luck running around with it on Wasteland or Afghan.

#6 DG-58

Best weapons in MW3 ranked
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The DG-58 was arguably one of the best weapons in MW3 at launch, and it’s great to see the LMG class getting some love. Traditionally, Machine Guns are slow, clunky, and unable to keep up with the rapid pace of MW3 gunfights.

Sadly, Sledgehammer Games hit the DG-58 with some nerfs, which reduced its effectiveness, but you’d be a fool to underestimate it.

The DG-58 feels sluggish compared to countless faster options, but the weapon deals ridiculous damage if you can tame the recoil. If you’re not a fan of a hypermobile playstyle or stick to objective modes, you can do great things with this weapon.

#5 MTZ-556

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The MTZ-556 is one of my favorite weapons in MW3. It’s satisfying to use and has no real weaknesses that need to be fixed with attachments.
The jack-of-all-trades nature of the MTZ-556 is both a blessing and a curse that narrowly prevents the gun from landing a spot on the podium.

This Assault Rifle is a superb all-rounder, which is why it’s rated so highly. It works just about anywhere from Sub Base to Rust and is decent with any combination of attachments. The only issue the MTZ-556 has is although it’s potent, it doesn’t dominate any situation and loses out to weapons with clear strengths.

Related: Best MTZ-556 build in MW3: Attachments, loadout, and perks

#4 Striker

Best weapons in MW3 ranked
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The Striker is the best SMG in MW3 with a blindingly fast TTK. The Striker shines with its versatility, as it can poke at longer ranges than its counterparts.

SMGs are strong in MW3, although they have limited usefulness thanks to the map pool that favors mid/long-range engagements.

The Striker rises to the top of the class because it’s still functional if the target runs away. On top of that, it’s dead easy to use, feels fantastic, and deletes people in close quarters. If more small maps are added to MW3, the Striker could easily jump up a place on the list. Until then, 4th is a fair ranking.

#3 MCW

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The MCW is a phenomenal Assault Rifle with a controllable rate of fire and predictable recoil. This beast is arguably the easiest to use out of every gun on this list, with the versatility and kill potential to match.

We’ve put together a nasty build for the MCW that is effortless to use with an ADS speed so fast it feels like an SMG. It’s the perfect beginner weapon and something you can enjoy, no matter the game mode.

Damage is a little lacking at very long ranges. Although Assault Rifles don’t typically perform well at extreme distances, there are plenty of maps in MW3 that make this a sticking point.

#2 BAS-B

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Battle Rifles typically fill an awkward space, where they are outperformed by Assault Rifles and even hard-hitting Marksman Rifles. I’m pleased to announce that’s not the case with the BAS-B.

The BAS-B is a punchy weapon that can kill in three shots at tremendous ranges. Oddly enough, this weapon has a decent rate of fire, and triple-tapping opponents will remove them in a fraction of a second.

As gnarly as the BAS-B is, it’s balanced by beefy recoil, making the weapon harder to use. This kick is enough to dethrone the BAS-B from the #1 spot. It’s a fantastic weapon with a savage TTK, but it requires a steady hand.

#1 Holger 556

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The Holger 556 Assault Rifle is a monster in MW3 with a controllable rate of fire and fantastic range.

You can use this weapon just about anywhere and even challenge snipers if you see their scope glint.

The Holger 556 enjoyed a stint on the naughty step as it was nerfed in a balancing patch within the first few weeks. Fortunately for you Holger enjoyers out there, the weapon got away with a slap on the wrist and is still a dominant force in MW3. If you’ve not tried this Assault Rifle yet, you owe it to yourself to change that. Make sure you check out our meta build to get you started.

You bring the Holger 556 when you want to win, and it’s well deserving of the top spot on this list.

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Noah Nelson
From his early days of blog-style music, movie, and game reviews to working as the Esports Writer at Coastline Community College, Noah Nelson now works fulltime as a Staff Writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion. He has been helping gamers everywhere with Destiny 2 god rolls, Warzone 2 DMZ missions, and collectibles in any indie game for over a year and a half. His Bachelor's Degree in English Rhetoric and Composition with a minor in Journalism from CSULB has shaped him to be a strong writer and editor. His fondest gaming memory is playing Sly Cooper 2 after begging his mom (for hours) to play it before his birthday and he still cries myself to sleep remembering the time he accidentally saved over his 99% completion save file in Kingdom Hearts 2.
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Anthony Yates
Anthony is a freelance writer for PC Invasion and has worked in the industry for four years. He's furiously competitive and is always looking for the next big multiplayer hit. Anthony thrives in high-stakes games like Escape From Tarkov and Sea of Thieves. He is also passionate about speedrunning and always looks forward to the next GDQ and ESA events. When he's not grinding leaderboards, Anthony enjoys visiting Arcades, retro gaming, and horror movies.